Kalimpong With Mother and Father by Amrita Valan

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Kalimpong With Mother and Father
by Amrita Valan

It was the bedrock June of my nineteenth year
Traveling by train to Kalimpong, peaceful pristine
Poor cousin of crowded Darjeeling.

Stayed at an old Colonial guesthouse, a charming
Red roofed bungalow of deep cream. Dark
Polished wooden floors and red tiles in the front.
A breath of fresh morning, Kanchenjunga. With tea
And hot buttered toast. Mother’s face unlined itself
As she took on the glow of radiance borrowing
Sunrise on Kanchenjunga.
Me, I watched both in wonder as I fed the obligatory
Guest house pet golden spaniel, bits of buttered bread.
Then long winding uphill walks till breath came in rasps.
Turn around and run downhill like a little girl
Mother following sedate.
I reach the red wrought iron gates of Anne Villa
Lovely British legacy of cool summers spent on
Hill stations, a rhythm of the forgotten past
Recalled. Like the melody of my parents poem
Which stopped midway. As ma did now. And
Much later, leaving father a widower. But now,
She paused to let my tall shawl-clad father catch
Up with her.
Haze of morning mist playing still on their faces
End of journey and destinations unknown, in my
Sweet temporal travelogue.

© Amrita Valan 2020

PHOTO: View of Pedong in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, India. The town is located on a ridge that offers a panoramic view of Kanchenujunga and the Himalayas. Photo by Sonali Basu Routh, used by permission.

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NOTE: Kalimpong is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. The municipality sits on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River and is a tourist destination owing to its temperate climate, natural environment, and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region.  West Bengal borders Bangladesh to the east, and Nepal and Bhutan to the north.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amrita Valan holds a master’s degree in English literature, and has written over a thousand poems on love, spirituality, family, religion, current affairs, and human rights. She has also written short stories, rhymes, and tales for children. Published in several anthologies, 18 of her poems were recently featured in online zines. She lives in India, and is the mother of two boys. 

Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park by Carolyn Martin

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Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park
Twentynine Palms, California
by Carolyn Martin

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
And the walls come tumblin’ down . . .
        — An African-American spiritual

The terrain hasn’t changed. The Cap still tilts.
The Skull glares over a parking lot.
The Jumbo Rocks? This careless pile nudged
from eons underground lazes in the sun.
It’s spring this drive around
and creamy-white bells stun
every limb of every namesake tree.

A million yuccas ring like ram horns
tumbling Canaan’s walls, stretching
spiky arms above the rocky seas,
parting lands promising for rabbits,
lizards, red-tailed hawks, and cactus wrens;
for natives, ranchers, miners, campers, climbers
dazed by heat and snow and spiraling stars
the Milky Way enfolds.

If Joshua only knew his name
would bloom across 1200 miles squared,
he might not have died despondent and alone.
His, the pride of place right here — above dunes
and valleys and monuments wind-shaped —
where water finds a way through desert faults
without a fight, without a second thought.

Previously published in the author’s collection Thin Places (Kelsay Books, 2017).

PHOTO: Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California. Joshua Trees are native to the Mojave Desert, thriving in the open grasslands of Queen Valley and Lost Horse Valley in Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Jay George, used by permission. 

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NOTE: Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California, east of Los Angeles, near Palm Springs. It is named for the Joshua trees native to the Mojave Desert. Originally declared a national monument in 1936, Joshua Tree was redesignated as a national park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act. Encompassing a total of 790,636 acres (1,235.4 square miles), the park consists of 429,690 acres (671.4 square miles) of designated wilderness. The park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem with characteristics determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains traverse the southwest edge of the park. For a virtual tour, visit nps.gov. 

PHOTO: Joshua Tree National Park, California, with blooming Joshua Trees. Photo by the author. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On this return to Joshua Tree in March 2016, we were privileged to see the big “creamy white bells” blooming on the trees. An unexpected treat!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 125 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her first chapbook, Nothing More to Lose, and her fifth poetry collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments, will be released by The Poetry Box in 2021. She is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterlyjournal for global transformation. Find out more at carolynmartinpoet.com

The Writer by Robert Lima

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The Writer
by Robert Lima

Backed by nebulous nature,
under forged matrix spirals
from which a path is said to spring,
his silhouetted image sits mid-air
with plumed pen pending in his hand,
looming over the Victorian desk,
whose bowed legs are in symbiosis
with the arching of his back.
It could be Stevenson or Burns or Scott
who, quill in hand, sat for the sign,
stilled in the thought of capture
of that great idea, plot or verse,
or, in generic anonymity,
not one of them at all.

The lantern on the wall
that hangs below whoever’s ken
is dark against the still-bright day,
expecting the lamplighter’s tread,
its vacant hold awaiting
its deliverance by flame.

PHOTO: The Writers’ Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Fotokon, used by permission.

NOTE: The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature– Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Home to portraits, rare books, and personal objects, including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and the rocking horse he used as a child. The collection also features Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots and the ring given to him by a Samoan chief, engraved with the name “Tusitala,” meaning teller of tales,” as well as a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull, one of only three ever made. Items of note also include a chair used by Burns to correct proofs at William Smellie’s printing office, and Stevenson’s cabinet made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

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NOTE: Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Supreme Courts of Scotland. It is the second largest financial center in the United Kingdom (after London), and the city’s historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom’s second most visited tourist destination, attracting 4.9 million visits including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018. The official population estimates are 518,500 (mid-2019) for the City of Edinburgh council area and 1,339,380 (2014) for the wider city region. Edinburgh is home to national cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, and the Scottish National Gallery.

PHOTO: Edinburgh, Scotland, with Edinburgh Castle in the background. Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “The Writer” is based on my visits to The Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland, on several occasions, and being taken each time by the sign and its locale.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Lima is a Cuban-born award-winning poet, and an internationally recognized critic, bibliographer, playwright, and translator. As a Greenwich Village poet during the 1960s, he read at coffeehouses and other venues, co-edited Seventh Street: Poems of Les Deux Megots, introduced by Denise Levertov, and the second series of Judson Review. His 15 poetry collections include Celestials, ElementalsSardinia/SardegnaIkons of the Past. Poetry of the Hispanic Americas and Writers on My Watch (2020). Over 600 of his poems have appeared in print in the U.S. and abroad. Eleven of his poems have just appeared in Greek translation in Noima Magazine. Among his numerous critical studies are works on García Lorca, Valle-Inclán, Borges, Surrealism, folklore, dramatic literature, and translations of plays and poetry.

Golden Gate Morning by Marianne Brems

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Golden Gate Morning
by Marianne Brems

Fog spills over the ridge like a cauldron.
Thick and soft as goose feathers,
swaddling a bridge
not ready to rise from sleep
beneath its hidden towers.
The majestic turned docile
inside a shroud of gray.

But within seconds,
like an apology for obstruction,
the north tower leaps through this curtain
in a sudden blaze of crimson
piercing the lucid azure sky.
Persistent wisps of fog
timidly seep over the ridge
but can no longer contain
a paramount cool sunlight.

First published in Sliver of Change (released November 26, 2020 by Finishing Line Press).

PHOTO: The Golden Gate Bridge in morning fog, San Francisco, California. Photo by Sydney Herron on Unsplash.

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NOTE: The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links San Francisco—the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula—to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and  California State Route 1 across the strait. Designed in 1917 by engineer Joseph Strauss, and completed by other architects and engineers, it has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommer’s travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.” At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 4,200 feet and a total height of 746 feet.

PHOTO: The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset (San Francisco, California). Photo by Umer Sayyam on Unsplash

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in May 2016.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianne Brems’ first poetry chapbook is Sliver of Change (Finishing Line Press, 2020). Her second chapbook Unsung Offerings is forthcoming in 2021. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, including The Pangolin Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, The Sunlight Press, and The Tiny Seed Literary Journal. She lives in Northern California. Visit her at mariannebrems.com.

Insect Life of Florida by Lynda Hull

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Insect Life of Florida
by Lynda Hull

In those days I thought their endless thrum
    was the great wheel that turned the days, the nights.
       In the throats of hibiscus and oleander

I’d see them clustered yellow, blue, their shells
     enameled hard as the sky before the rain.
       All that summer, my second, from city

to city my young father drove the black coupe
     through humid mornings I’d wake to like fever
       parceled between luggage and sample goods.

Afternoons, showers drummed the roof,
     my parents silent for hours. Even then I knew
       something of love was cruel, was distant.

Mother leaned over the seat to me, the orchid
     Father’d pinned in her hair shriveled
       to a purple fist. A necklace of shells

coiled her throat, moving a little as she
     murmured of alligators that float the rivers
       able to swallow a child whole, of mosquitoes

whose bite would make you sleep a thousand years.
     And always the trance of blacktop shimmering
       through swamps with names like incantations—

Okeefenokee, where Father held my hand
     and pointed to an egret’s flight unfolding
       white above swamp reeds that sang with insects

until I was lost, until I was part
     of the singing, their thousand wings gauze
       on my body, tattooing my skin.

Father rocked me later by the water,
     the motel balcony, singing calypso
       with the Jamaican radio. The lyrics

a net over the sea, its lesson
     of desire and repetition. Lizards flashed
       over his shoes, over the rail

where the citronella burned merging our
     shadows—Father’s face floating over mine
       in the black changing sound

of night, the enormous Florida night,
     metallic with cicadas, musical
       and dangerous as the human heart.

SOURCE: Collected Poems by Lynda Hull (Graywolf Press, 2006). Copyright © 2006 by the Estate of Lynda Hull. Used by permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota, graywolfpress.org.

PHOTO: Egrets in the Okefenokee Swamp, Florida. Photo by Jaimie Tuchman, used by permission. 

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NOTE: The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow, 438,000-acre peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia-Florida line in the United States. A majority of the swamp is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Okefenokee Wilderness. Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia, the Okefenokee is the largest blackwater swamp in North America. The swamp, which was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974, is home to many wading birds, including herons, egrets, ibises, cranes, and bitterns. Okefenokee is famous for its amphibians and reptiles such as toads, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, and an abundance of American alligators

PHOTO: American Alligator on the banks of the Suwannee River in the Okefenokee Swamp Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. Photo by Brian Lasenby, used by permission. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynda Hull was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1954. Her collections include Ghost Money (1986), recipient of the Juniper Prize; Star Ledger (1991), which won the 1991 Carl Sandburg and 1990 Edwin Ford Piper awards; and The Only World: Poems, published posthumously in 1995 and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. In 2006, Graywolf Press published her Collected Poems, edited by her husband, David Wojahn. Hull was the recipient of four Pushcart Prizes as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. In addition to serving as the poetry editor for the journal Crazyhorse, she taught English at Indiana University, DePaul University, and Vermont College. In 1994, she died at age 49 in a car accident.

Author photo by Michael Twombley

French Postcards by Andrena Zawinski

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French Postcards
by Andrena Zawinski

1.

This picture is for you
of the café where I rested
on the long walk
from Tour Eiffel to Notre Dame,
and here is another
of the Louvre, with a view
from the other side of the river.

Tonight, nibbling at the last
of the boulanger’s stiff baguette
and overripe cheese, I have to tell you
this red wine must be finally
getting to my head,
because I find myself alone
and scribbling in the dark
in Paris.

2.

Dear,
the hotel generator has failed,
midnight again.

At the window of this blackened
walkup, above the sax and scooter
skittering St. Catherine’s Square,
there is across the walk a light
on the bright white tile
of someone’s kitchen wall,
a dozen limpheaded roses
on the sink, plates and glasses
left neatly coupled
at the drain. It is the two of them
I think I see below, arm in arm,
moving along the cobblestone walkway
through the shadowed narrow,
their backs toward me.

3.

As I’m scribbling in this dark,
I am trying to place
where is the cache of maps, carnets
of tickets to take me
where it is I will go next. Afraid,
without speech
in Paris, I weight thin French
with pauperish smiles
I try on, like grande dames
do hats in chic boutiques
inside Le Marais.

(Only the once, when I was not afraid
and dared a brief American skirt
with just English, was I mistaken for
Irma La Douce in Bois de Boulogne.)

4.

Now that the lampe hums, flickers
a promise of light,
Vivaldi swims up from the square
on strings of guitare, July, rain,
on the splash
of wheels spinning the street.

Everyone else seems to know
where it is
they are going.

And me, at least
I have traveled here.
Amour,
I have made it
from Pittsburgh
to Paris,
alone.

SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “Poet’s Corner” (A-7), June 3, 1995, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also appears in the author’s collection Traveling in Reflected Light.

IMAGE: Rooftop Hideout © Evgeny Lushpin. Original painting and reproductions available at lushpin.com. Learn more about the artist and his work at mymodermet.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Many years ago I braved a trip to Paris alone after being part of a University of Pittsburgh Teacher Writers Project for three weeks in London. Impulsively, with a Poor Man’s Guide to Paris a friend gave me, I walked into a travel agency and booked a flight that same afternoon. Who doesn’t dream of a trip to Paris who has never been? And who wouldn’t be surprised there by power outages in the City of Light? The fifth-floor window in the room I had rented, having a bit of dinner at the window, was the perfect place for an eavesdropper like me. There I began “French Postcards” as an actual postcard. The rest emerged once the lights came back on, absorbing some of the unexpected on that journey. When I saw Rooftop Hideout by Evgeny Lushpin (above) on an internet site, I was  struck by the painting because I could swear that’s the window where I wrote the poem “French Postcards.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrena Zawinski’s poetry has received numerous awards for lyricism, form, spirituality, and social concern, with several receiving Pushcart Prize nominations. Her latest book is Landings from Kelsay Books; others are Something About from Blue Light Press (a PEN Oakland Award) and Traveling in Reflected Light from Pig Iron Press (a Kenneth Patchen Prize), along with several chapbooks. She is a veteran teacher of writing and activist poet who founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: Born in 1966 not far from Moscow, Evgeny Lushpin was apprenticed in Russia’s finest schools. His work is based on endless travel across channels of old cozy towns and long avenues of world famous cities. He endeavors to capture stunning moments and show more than meets the eye. The play of light and dark, rich palettes of color, and hundreds of subtle details work together to  create a symphony of power and light. His style is widely recognized and his work attracts collectors from all over the world. He says, “It’s a different state of mind with each painting, but I always completely immerse myself into the time, place, and subject of my art.”

A Reflection of Beauty in Washington by Jimmy Carter

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A Reflection of Beauty in Washington
by Jimmy Carter

I recall one winter night
going to the White House roof
to study the Orion nebulae,
but we could barely see the stars,
their images so paled by city lights.

Suddenly we heard a sound
primeval in its tone and rhythm
coming from the northern sky.
We turned to watch in silence
long wavering V’s,
breasts transformed to brilliance
by the lights we would have dimmed.
The geese passed overhead,
and then without a word
we went down to a peaceful sleep,
marveling at what we’d seen and heard.

NOTE: “A Reflection of Beauty in Washington” appears in Jimmy Carter’s poetry collection Always a Reckoning and Other Poems (1994).

PHOTO: Geese flying over Washington, DC, with the Washington Monument, right, and the United States Capitol in the background. Photo by Lance Erickson, used by permission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jimmy Carter is an American politician, philanthropist, and former farmer who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center, which he established in 1982 to promote and expand human rights. He has written over 30 books, ranging from political memoirs to poetry, while continuing to actively comment on ongoing American and global affairs.

How to Regain Your Soul by William E. Stafford

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How to Regain Your Soul
by William E. Stafford

Come down Canyon Creek trail on a summer afternoon
that one place where the valley floor opens out. You will see
the white butterflies. Because of the way shadows
come off those vertical rocks in the west, there are
shafts of sunlight hitting the river and a deep
long purple gorge straight ahead. Put down your pack.

Above, air sighs the pines. It was this way
when Rome was clanging, when Troy was being built,
when campfires lighted caves. The white butterflies dance
by the thousands in the still sunshine. Suddenly, anything
could happen to you. Your soul pulls toward the canyon
and then shines back through the white wings to be you again.

“How to Regain Your Soul” by William E. Stafford from The Darkness Around Us is Deep  ©Harper Perennial, 1994.

PHOTO: Canyon Creek Lakes from Little Lakes Trail in Trinity Alps Wilderness, near Weaverville, California. Photo ©Dara Zimmerman, All Rights Reserved.

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NOTE: The Trinity Alps are a mountain range in Siskiyou County and Trinity County, in Northern California. They are a subrange of the Klamath Mountains and located to the north of Weaverville, California. The Trinity Alps are noted for their scenic views and alpine environment. The Trinity Alps Wilderness covers 517,000 acres, and features hiking trails, backcountry camping, and breathtaking scenery—including mountains, gorges, glaciers, forests, lakes, and rivers. James Hilton, author of the novel Lost Horizons about the Himalayan utopia “Shangri-la,” said that the area around Weaverville, California, came closest to the definition of an earthly paradise than anywhere else on the planet.

PHOTO: Trinity Alps, Pacific Crest Trail, Northern California. Photo by Clay Shannon, used by permission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Edgar Stafford (1914-1993) was appointed the twentieth United States Poet Laureate in 1970, at the time referred to as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. He received a B.A. from the University of Kansas in 1937. In 1941, he was drafted into the United States armed forces, but declared himself a pacifist. As a conscientious objector, he performed alternative service from 1942 to 1946 in the Civilian Public Service camps. The work consisted of forestry and soil conservation work in Arkansas, California, and Illinois.  He received his M.A. from the University of Kansas in 1947, and in 1954 received a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Stafford’s poems are typically short, focusing on details of daily life. He kept a daily journal for 50 years, and composed nearly 22,000 poems—about 3,000 of these were published. Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford was released by Graywolf Press in 2014.

Autumn at Owen Beach by Carl “Papa” Palmer

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Autumn at Owen Beach
by Carl “Papa” Palmer

Tacoma Washington rains
a foggy mist I breathe
in cadence
with soft whispers
of Puget Sound surf
heard front row center
sitting on this sand-locked log
all to myself at Owen Beach.

Seeking similes for birds
behaving like birds
as I float a morning prayer
toward the Tahlequah ferry
crossing for Vashon Island
from Point Defiance Park
sailing the horizon between
gray water and gray sky.

First published in Quill and Parchment, Nov 2019.

PHOTO: Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park, Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, with ferries and Cascade Range in the background. The logs on the beach are driftwood from logging operations in the area. Photo © Voxstar, All Rights Reserved.

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NOTE: Tacoma is located on Washington’s Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle. In the 2010 census, the population was recorded as 191,704. Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma. Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington’s largest port. Since the 1990s, downtown Tacoma has undergone a revitalization effort, with the state’s highest density of art and history museums and a restored urban waterfront. Named one of the most livable areas in the United States, in 2006 Tacoma was listed as one of the “most walkable” cities in the country.

Map by TownMapUSA.com.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Puget Sound of Western Washington State offers so many places to visit COVID-free without your mask, but keep it in your pocket anyway, in case someone else is escaping stay-at-home, too. Next time you’re in town give us a visit. Owen Beach is in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Washington. Until then, be safe—wear a mask.

PHOTO: Tacoma, Washington, waterfront at dusk, with Mount Ranier in the background. Photo by Davidgn, used by permission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer.  Papa’s Motto: Long Weekends Forever!

Granada Park Love by Don Kingfisher Campbell

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Granada Park Love
by Don Kingfisher Campbell

My life has been a series of trees planted in soil
One has purple flowers now
Amidst the abandoned Stonehenge picnic area of my past
Columns rise but there is no roof, no shelter
A tall tree has found its hugger
A lone lamp in a green field
The only pathway surrounded by other arranged arbors
Sun shines on their leaves
An old crown, a monument to age
Young sprouts admire the view upward
She stands waiting to be photographed
Laughs because a bench to rest upon has been discovered
White wisps in the sky signal fleeting time
Light fills dark structures
Trash can tagged and documented
Flowers ignite red, orange, lavender, and magenta
The blue welkin is streaked with feeling
Palms reach for each other
Yellow beacons spark home
Distant city lives its own lives
A single trunk tries to tell its story
Scattered needles on the ground
A belt of sunlight turns the evening
As a plane splits through the void
The Cube has brought us here reflecting hues
Branches lose color in the night
Yet there is a smile on my face
Next to the dear honey of this day’s glaze

PHOTO: Granada Park, 2000 W Hellman Ave, Alhambra, California, 91803. Photo © Bryan Zhang, All Rights Reserved.

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NOTE: Alhambra is a city located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, approximately eight miles from downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2010 census, the population was 83,089. During the early 1800s, Bernardo Yorba named the land he owned as “Alhambra,” after a book his daughter Ruth was reading, Washington IrvingTales of the Alhambra, which the author wrote after an his extended visit to the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles, originally promoted as a “city of homes,” and many of its dwellings have historical significance, with 26 residential areas designated as historic neighborhoods. Alhambra has experienced waves of new immigrants, beginning with Italians in the 1950s, Mexicans in the 1960s, and Chinese in the 1980s. An active Chinese business district has developed on Valley Boulevard, including Chinese supermarkets, restaurants, shops, banks, realtors, and medical offices.

PHOTO: Arch located at Valley Boulevard and Fremont Avenue representing Alhambra, California, as the “Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley.” The San Gabriel Mountains appear in the background. The 26-foot arch, modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, was designed by Lawrence Moss and installed in 2010. Photo by Chon Kit Leong, used by permission. 

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Granada Park is a local neighborhood park on a hill with a wonderful view of surrounding cities.

PHOTO: The author’s fiancée hugging a tree in Granada Park, Alhambra, California. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has taught Writers Seminar at Occidental College Upward Bound for 36 years, been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, poetry editor of the Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum and the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For awards, features, and publication credits,  visit dkc1031.blogspot.com.